Human career services

What Can You Do with a Human Services Degree?

by | Feb 22, 2022

If you want to serve others as your life’s work, a degree in Human Services can help you build the foundation to a long and fulfilling career. Often coupled with psychology, this kind of degree opens you up to several paths to help others as it teaches you the emotional and psychological skills you need to work with diverse populations.

What Will I Learn in a Human Services Program?

Human Services programs introduce you to fundamental psychology concepts and statistical principles concerning human experience and behavior. They allow you to look at how people in society act and interact and where structures and systems are successful in helping the most vulnerable and where they fall short. Among the lessons you will learn and the skills you will develop are:

  • Listening, writing, communicating, and developing interpersonal skills to help you work with clients, agencies, and organizations
  • Building your emotional intelligence, patience, and interest in diverse populations to be the best advocate for the clients you work with
  • Learning organization skills to help balance many clients, services, and competing demands on your time
  • Developing moral character to remain honest, thoughtful, and respectful while providing care to some very high-needs people
  • Using innovation, creativity, and problem-solving skills to approach each client’s situation with an open mind to craft the best possible solution to meet their needs
  • Understanding national and local organizations and laws to better serve your clients

What Jobs Will I be Prepared for with a Human Services Degree?

Human Services degree programs prepare you to work in service roles across the community. You could serve governmental agencies, nonprofits, or private companies providing services to a range of clients. Here are a few of the paths you can pursue:

  • Become a Case Manager and advocate for clients to receive the best physical and mental healthcare possible. In this role, you collaborate with agencies, medical professionals, and social services to protect the health of the people you work for. You might work in a nursing home to help elderly residents get the care they need. To perform your job well, you will need to have a strong understanding of patient rights and the rules of confidentiality and how and when to escalate any issues.
  • Work as a Substance Abuse Support Provider in non-profits, clinics, hospitals or rehabilitation facilities to help clients and families overcome abuse and heal from the illnesses associated with it. As a counselor in a hospital setting, you could work with adults or children that have been hospitalized for drug or alcohol abuse. You help teach your clients how to cope with their disease, identity issues and create goals for treatment, lead therapy sessions, meet with family members and create plans for aftercare once patients are ready to leave the hospital.
  • Act as a Family Court Advocate to help ensure the health and well-being of children in family disputes and custody battles. You might draft parenting plans or work with shelters, foster care, social services, crisis intervention, and the courts to gather information, write reports, and make recommendations to the court. Your ultimate goal is to do what is in the best interest of a minor child.
  • Become a Community Outreach Manager to promote the services an organization provides to the community so individuals and families can more easily access them. This means educating families on available programs, supervising activities within those programs, maintaining donor databases, and collaborating with superiors on regular budgetary projects. You might create public education plans or social media campaigns. Or you might help with fundraising efforts to ensure your organization continues to provide the services it does. By working with non-profits and community organizations, you can introduce individuals and families to programs and services that can truly make a difference in their lives.
  • Pursue a Social and Human Service Provider position if you want to assist social workers, psychologists, or program directors in helping others. In this role, you would help determine the needs of individual clients and help them find the services they require. You could work for a nonprofit, for social agencies, or for local or state government agencies. As a part of this position, you will help clients complete paperwork, find assistance, research different services they may need (e.g., food stamps and Medicaid), and regularly check in with your clients to ensure they get everything they need to be healthy and happy.
  • Continue on to become a Counselor or a Social Worker. Although you may need additional education, training, and certification, the Human Services Degree can be a steppingstone to careers as a social worker, counselor, or therapist.

Interested in serving others? Bluefield University offers a Psychology/Human Services program that is taught by highly skilled and experienced professionals. It also has an internship component and will prepare you to enter the helping field immediately or pursue your education further in graduate school. To learn more about Bluefield and this innovative program, contact us now.

Do I only apply once?

  • No. Students must apply each academic year for the fall semester and submit the necessary documents.

Do I have to take the classes specified in the Associate's Degree tracks as they are listed on the information sheet?

  • No. Students may take any of the courses that are offered in a given term.

Where do I find the textbook listing, and where do I purchase the books?

  • Log in to myBU, and under the "Student" tab, you will find a list of the textbooks required (if any) for each course. Students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.

How long is a semester?

  • Our semesters are divided into two 8-week terms.

Is there an orientation?

  • Yes. Students can attend an orientation session that explains how to access courses, how to register for classes, and answers other questions.

Where can I find a course description?

Does the student need to take the SAT or ACT in order to take Dual Enrollment classes?

  • No. If a student decides to study at BU full time, BU is currently test-optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

Are the classes live? Do students need to log in and participate at certain times?

  • Classes are offered online, so a student can log-on and study at their convenience and their own pace. Students have assignments due each week; you can complete your assignments at any point in time before the deadline.

Does an Early College student need to come to campus for anything?

  • No. However, we would love to have you visit our campus if you are interested in continuing with traditional on-campus study. Students who complete their associate's degree have the option to walk at our commencement ceremony.

Are Early College students able to receive Financial Aid?

  • No. However, Early College courses are very affordable compared to other options. The cost for an online Dual Enrollment course is $100 per credit hour.

How do transferring credits work?

  • Each College or University completes a transcript review in order to decide which courses transfer. Sticking to general education classes generally makes transferring credits simple. All Early College courses at Bluefield University are general education classes that should transfer to another accredited institution.

Is an Early College student considered, and treated, as a transfer student when they become a full-time college student if they have earned enough credits to be a Junior?

  • No. Since they have not graduated from high school, they are considered a first-time college student regardless of how many credits transfer. However, by transferring credits when they enroll as a full-time student, they will have to take fewer classes to receive their bachelor's degree, which shortens the length of time to earn the degree.

Can I speak to someone if I have more questions?

  • Yes. Please contact the Office of Admissions by email or you can call them at 276.326.4231


Meet our core Counseling faculty

Dr. Challen Mabry

Assistant Professor of Counseling

Dr. Kristen Moran

Associate Professor of Counseling

Brandy Smith

Assistant Professor of Education & Counseling,
Director of the Master of Arts in Counseling Program,
Title IX Confidential Counselor

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